Railway cargo woes

Published October 4, 2022

I ALWAYS prefer cargo services of Pakistan Railways (PR) for bulk consignments because of its low tariff even though it is not a safe and hassle-free option and minor damages are part of the deal. I booked my consignment of furniture, refrigerator, water dispenser and other household items for Karachi from Rawalpindi on Aug 24.

It was mentioned in receipt that the consignment would be sent through 8-Down Tezgam on Aug 25, but, unfortunately, the railway operations were suspended on the mentioned date due to floods in Sindh. I can understand the nature of delay in dispatching the consignment, but the PR should have informed the customers through text messages or email, which it did not do.

While I received no information about my consignment, there was no landline contact number mentioned on the receipt. I managed to get the contact number of the PR divisional superintendent (DS) in Rawalpindi on Sept 13 from the website. When I made a contact on the said number, an official gave me the landline number of the local cargo office. I called on that number (051-9270894) 15 times for two consecutive days, but the said office did not bother to respond.

Subsequently, I once again called the DS office for filing a complaint about the cargo office. This time another official provided me the telephone number of officer in charge of the cargo office. I called that number (051-9270860) many a time, but all in vain as there was no response. I was trying to contact them to get information regarding the safety of my consignment, but I was amazed that no office responded except the DS office.

The minister concerned should look into the matter and ensure that public offices respond to the calls being made to them. It will be better if a tracking system for cargo is launched to facilitate the customers.

Salar Lateef
Karachi

Published in Dawn, October 4th, 2022

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